Report: Deal-hungry Sanofi eyes stake in Zealand Pharma

Sanofi-Aventis' strategy to do more partnering with the world's most promising biotech companies may spur the pharma giant to take a $143 million stake in Denmark's Zealand Pharma. The two companies are already partnered on AVE0010/ZP10 for Type 2 diabetes, and a European newspaper reports that Sanofi is interested in snagging a 19.9 percent chunk of equity in Zealand.

"A deeper relationship would benefit both companies," Zealand Pharma Chief Executive David Solomon told Les Echos. Sanofi declined comment.

Analysts note that the deal makes sense for Sanofi, which is beefing up its work in diabetes as it aggressively hustles up new partnership arrangements. The Zealand Pharma drug entered Phase III trials in the spring of 2008. Zealand Pharma was founded 10 years ago.

- here's the report from Reuters